Form and Contents
The final reasoned decision is the judgment which is pronounced by the court. It
discloses whether the accused is guilty or innocent thereby leading to
conviction or acquittal.
Section 354 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 lays down as to the language
and contents of the judgment.
- Every judgment shall be written in the language of the Court. (The
Language of the Court is determined in accordance with Section 272 of the
Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973).
- The Judgment should contain the point/points for determination, the
decision and the reasons for the said decision.
Essential particulars found in a judgment of a criminal case:
- Statement of facts with which the accused is charged
- Analysis and appreciation of evidence while reaching the conclusion
- Offence to be specified with the respective legislation and legal
provision under which the Accused is convicted.
- If the judgment discloses the acquittal of the accused, it shall specify
the offence of which he is acquitted and direct that he be set at liberty.
The accused however shall not be released is his acquittal falls on the ground
that "he was insane at the time of commission of the offence. The judgment in
such cases shall specify as to whether the act was committed by the accused or
Further it is also provided that, the persons who are acquitted on the ground of
insanity shall be detained in safe custody.
A conviction order is not a judgment. Only upon determining the sentence, a
judgment is complete. Non availability of a full judgment to accused on the date
of passing of the order of conviction and sentence is not a flaw in case of
joint trial which involves many convicted accused persons.
Abridged forms of Judgment:
Section 355 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 lays down that a judgment
passed by a Metropolitan Magistrate shall be in an abridged form with the
- Serial number of the case
- Date of Commission of the offence
- Name of Complainant
- Name of Accused along with his parentage and residence
- Offence complained of or proved
- Plea of accused and Examination (If any)
- Final order
- Date of the order
- In cases where appeal lies from the final order, a brief statement of
reasons for the decision.
In accordance with Sections 263-264 of the code the judgment in a summary trial
should be in the abridged form as prescribed.
Every criminal trial wherein the Court finds the accused guilty, punishment
should be imposed in accordance with Law after giving him an opportunity of
hearing. However the Court must take into consideration the age, character,
antecedents, physical or mental condition and the circumstances in which the
offence was committed.
In such a situation the Court may release him after admonition or probation of
good conduct under Section 360 of the code or under the relevant provisions of
the Probation of offenders act, 1958.
Reformation and rehabilitation of the offender have been given much importance
in the recent times. In certain cases, an attempt is made to transform the
offender into a self-reliant person of the society thereby ensuring that he is
not subjected to the severities of the jail life.
On the other hand, in the best interest of the society, it is required to
confine the offender behind the bars if the offender is anti-social on a high
It is not easy to reconcile these conflicting demands. Guilt once established,
the punitive dilemma begins.
An Analysis of Section 360 of CrPc
Release on probation on good conduct
When regard is given to age, character, antecedents, etc. If the Court considers
that it is expedient to release the convicted person on probation of good
conduct, it may direct the offender to be released on his entering into a bond,
with or without sureties.
The release is permissible only if the below mentioned conditions are
- There is no previous conviction proved against the offender.
- When the person convicted is a woman of any age/any male under the age
- When the offence is not punishable with death.
- When the offence is punishable with fine only or with imprisonment for a
term of 7 years or less.
Release after Admonition
The offender after conviction can be released after due admonition. Such a
release is permitted in law only when the following conditions are fulfilled:
- There is no previous conviction proved against the offender
- The offence of which the accused is convicted is either i) Theft ii) Theft in
a building, or iii) Dishonest misappropriation, or iv) is punishable under IPC
with not more than 2 years of imprisonment, or v) is one punishable with fine
Object of Section 360
The paramount intention is to prevent young people from being sent to jail,
where they may get acquainted with hard criminals. Association with them may
lead the young persons along the path of crime.
But section 360 is not to be applied to people who purposefully violate the law
and commit crimes.
Pronouncement of JudgmentModes of Pronouncement
The final reasoned decision is judgment. The court's decision is intimated in
open court to the parties through judgment. Immediately after the close of the
trial the court shall deliver the judgment in the following modes:
- By delivering the judgment in whole; or
- By reading out the whole of the judgment; or
- By reading out the operative part of the judgment and explaining the
substance of the judgment to the accused.
The trial court is required to secure the attendance of the accused at the time
of delivering a judgment of conviction.
Alteration of Judgment
Unless otherwise provided, no court shall alter or review the judgment when it
has signed disposing of a case. Only alterations to correct clerical or
arithmetical errors are permitted.
- Section 354, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
- Section 84, Indian Penal Code, 1860
- Section 334, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
- Section 335, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
- Yakub Abdul Razak Memon vs. State of Maharashtra, (2013) 13 SCC I
- Statement of Objects and reasons appended to the probation of offenders
- Ediga Anamma vs. State of A.P., (1974) 4 SCC 443, 449
- Ibrahim vs. State, 1974 Cri LJ 993 (All)
- Section 353(1), Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973